15 December 2014

Spaghetti Carbonara with Monterey Jack


Image: knorr.co.uk 

Last night I made spaghetti carbonara for dinner! (No pictures because my phone was dead... and the nice plates were in the dishwasher anyway)

We didn't have parmesan so I swiped that with monterey jack cheese instead, and used bacon (the breakfast kind) instead of pancetta. The result was super. The bacon was oilier so the pasta was tastier after I coated it. The jack made it taste a little sharper, I guess, but because they were sliced instead of in a block, the texture of the pasta was less creamy than regular carbonara. Still, like(!!) and it's relatively easy to make – you just have to get the timing absolutely right. I didn't measure out the pasta or bacon, because I cook according to how much of a certain ingredient I want the dish to taste like.. but just so you know, I used a lot of bacon.

Spaghetti Carbonara with Monterey Jack 
Serves: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:
Pasta
Bacon, cut into small-medium sized pieces
Mushrooms, chopped (optional)
1 clove of garlic
1 egg
½ cup of monterey jack cheese, grated
Salt
Pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix the egg and cheese together quickly, ensuring that everything is well mixed and no lumps of cheese are left in the mixture. 
  2. Boil pasta in a pot of water (with a generous pinch of salt added in!). Follow instructions on the package as to how well you want your pasta to be cooked.
  3. In a separate pan, fry your bacon on medium heat, about 2 minutes on each side until just enough oil from the bacon seeps out. 
  4. Reduce to low heat. Add in mushrooms, and sauté for about 2 minutes 
  5. Add in garlic, again, sauté for about a minute. 
  6. Drain pasta, but leave about 3-4tablespoonful of pasta water behind. 
  7. Add the pasta to the pan of bacon /mushrooms, toss around and coat evenly with bacon oil. 
  8. Reduce to lowest possible heat. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the pasta quickly, and keep tossing, until the mixture is 'cooked' (about 2 minutes) 
  9. If the mixture is too thick, pour the pasta water over to thin it out. 
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste. 


Notes:
If there isn't enough bacon oil for the pasta, add in ½-1 tablespoon of olive oil. 
The egg and cheese mixture is meant to be cooked off heat, but because I want to be very sure that my egg is cooked, I leave it on really low heat. 

I really loved this because it didn't feel very heavy. I think the next time I make this, I'm going to try mixing the egg and cheese in a food processor first.

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